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My Perspective

Posted on March 1st, 2005

So for the past month, Brandon has been talking about love at the Embassy. This has always been a bit of an “ehhh” topic for me, mostly because I don’t feel comfortable talking about it and because it stresses me out. Every year or so, however, I end up rambling on and on about it, and I think my time has come again.

I was talking with John (my first roommate in residence) a few days ago, and he identified five things about which I think: food, sleep, music, expensive toys, and relationships. Personally, I think that this is a fairly comprehensive list, mostly because that last item is rather broad. In fact, the scope of “relationships” is huge; for example, my relationship with God encourages me to have certain moral standards which, in turn, govern the way I aspire to live my life. And that’s just one piece of a very, very big pie!

There is, of course, another side of relationships that I don’t tend to discuss: those with other people. To be more specific, those of the opposite sex. Some just might call them “girls.” I seem to recall writing about this some time ago, and I’ll probably repeat some of what I wrote then. I’ll apologize for being redundant, but I guess it could go to show how little some things have changed.

When I was growing up (gee, I make myself sound so old… blah), I always figured that I would be married and have a stable career by the time I was 25 or 26. By the time I was in my early thirties, I’d have a family and things would be golden from there. Well, I’m 21 now and, in order to have any reasonable relationship, I’d probably need to allow a few years before I would marry anyone. So, if I were to stick to my plan, I better start acting soon, huh?

Well, no, not quite. To do so would put me at a very vulnerable disposition: if I am actively searching, I think that I’d be especially prone to letting myself think that there’s something there when there really isn’t. It’s something that I’ve probably discussed with a handful of people by now, and I still feel very strongly about it. I’d be setting myself up and putting myself at risk of making compromises just so that I could meet my goal. So as tempting as it would be to go out looking for someone, I think I’ll exert a bit more patience.

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a girlfriend of any sort… years, in fact. This begs two questions: first, why it has been such a while and, two, if I am okay with it. I suppose that the answer to these questions are fairly complicated. As some of you might know, things with me are generally not simple and often undergo a lot of scrutiny and processing before anything happens. This is no different.

There is a lot of say about why it has been years since my last serious relationship. Part of it has to do with what I mentioned before: I have been trying very hard to not look for one. Another factor is the time issue. As an undergraduate student at UW, my life can get busy in a hurry. This is especially true since I’ve decided to serve God with a lot of the time that I do have, too. (Thanks to the Embassy for conveniently placing a black hole for time right in front of me!) So, the tiny bit of time I have left doesn’t seem quite enough to have a meaningful relationship. Some have argued that I’d make the time for it, and I think that I’d agree. I’m just not sure which of school or God would take a cut. Then, there’s the whole issue of setting a very high standard for myself. If there was any chokepoint, this would be it. This imposes some hefty expectations which do very well to test my patience. I’ve lamented before about how I worry that I set the bar unreasonably high, but the consensus has always been that it’s the only way to go. Fiddlesticks.

So onto the second question: am I okay with my present situation? This answer is also complex, since it depends on the circumstances. There are times when I feel very free and uninhibited because I don’t have a girlfriend. I see the amount of time that others fret about their relationships, and I breathe a sigh of relief as I am generally isolated from it. Then, there are the days when I’m longing for one, and those are long, long days. I see the amount of time that others boast about their relationships, and I breathe a sigh of despair as I am also generally isolated from it.

But I keep telling myself, “Be patient, Justin. The time will come, and it will all be worth it.” It sounds like a pretty pat answer to me, but I have to cling to it nonetheless. I’d be opening myself to a whole world of danger if I didn’t.

Before I close, I would just like to address one last thing. An self-admittedly nosey person asked me the other day if there was anyone in whom I was interested. I declined to answer, citing that I felt uncomfortable about it. The more I think about people and whether or not I would want to pursue anything with them, the more likely I am to overthink about it, too. Then there’s the risk of playing the “what if” game, which is a whole other can of worms. But I will answer her question here: there are a couple of girls who I think have wonderful personalities, great potential, and would be particularly amazing friends, but there is nobody that I am seriously interested in for something else.

As for right now, I’ve still got a lot of work to do on the one Relationship that matters. (I hope the capitalization makes it a little bit more obvious which one it is.)

5 Responses to “My Perspective”

  1. Hot Rod Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with a high standard, unless that standard is perfection πŸ™‚

    My advice is that you don’t ignore girlfriends altogether because of a lack of time. God wants us to be with someone, so once you find a girl that is dateable you’ll probably want to make time for that person.

    Ah, the single life….

  2. Justin Says:

    Ahh Rodney,

    I remember you posting something like this the last time I ranted about it πŸ™‚ I mentioned that I’m pretty sure that I would end up making time if I were to find someone, although something else might ahve to bite the bullet. Ideally, spending time with this hypothetical girlfriend would still allow me to glorify God and, through the relationship, His work would continue to be done. In fact, I’m really counting on something like this happening…

    At times, the single life is really good. At the Forum a couple of weeks ago, we discussed how being single allows us to have more time to spend with God and to spend for Him. I firmly believe this, and I guess that I have accepted my lot in life for now. But, at the same time, I’m anxious to get out of the single life, too.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


  3. Jazz Says:

    Hey Justin,

    I’m guessing that I’m the “self-addmitedly nosey” person you mentioned eh? I had ersolved to not bother you about that anymore but now you’ve answered my question anyways! haha.

    I enjoyed reading your in depth views on this topic – I’ve noticed that you’re reluctant to talk about this stuff so it’s nice to get to hear your thoughts on it.

    In terms of giving you advice or insight or anything, I think that would be out of place and I definitely don’t have anything of importance to say except this: You’re an awesome quality guy, and from what I know of you so far, any girl that gets you will be lucky. Your heart for God is the coolest thing about you, and as long as you keep cultivating that Relationship, you’ll be set for life.


  4. Justin Says:

    Heya Jasmine πŸ™‚

    Your typing has been quite horrendous tonight! It makes me think that I should get you a typing tutor for your birthday.. but I won’t.

    Anyhow, you were indeed the “self-admittedly nosey person”; after all, you are the only person who has shamelessly investigated every nook and cranny in my room πŸ™‚ Thankfully, as you have discovered, I have nothing to hide!

    You’re right: I am reluctant to talk about it. Writing about it is a little bit better because I’m able to take my time to articulate things carefully and ensure that I’m saying a reasonable amount. (And I certainly did take my time on the post… it must have taken at least an hour or something.)

    I didn’t feel inclined to answer when we were at the hotel because of that little awkward moment. At the time, I was somewhat taken aback, but I have since processed it. There are some details that I omitted from my original post, and one of them is that you are actually one of those girls with an awesome personality, great potential, and could be a particularly amazing friend (if we both invested the time into it, which I think that we are doing). It was just really weird to hear something along the same lines from you too, I guess.

    Lastly, there’s that final little bit that you wrote. I strongly disagree with your claim about not having anything important to say; when we were chatting about it before, there were a lot of very important comments and remarks coming from you. They’ve helped me reaffirm what I think about this topic, and have helped make things more bearable. I think that you should be giving yourself a bit more credit!

    And thank you for the kind words. They made me smile. πŸ™‚


  5. Emily Says:

    you wrote this on my birthday, you know.

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